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First Team News

Gaffer Previews Return To Plymouth Argyle

14 March 2024

First Team News

Gaffer Previews Return To Plymouth Argyle

14 March 2024

Ryan Lowe is looking forward to returning to Home Park this weekend as North End face Plymouth Argyle in a “massive” game.

The gaffer was in charge of the Pilgrims between 2019 and 2021, earning them promotion from League Two and taking them to fourth in League One before departing to join PNE in December 2021.

It’ll be the first time he’s returned to Devon as his side look to head into the international break with a positive result.

Ryan said: “It was tough at the weekend losing at home [to Stoke City]. We conceded two sloppy goals which could be avoided. We have to look positively to the next one and the next one’s Plymouth Argyle.

“I’m looking forward to going down there. I’m looking forward to seeing some old faces, a fantastic football club, who are well-followed and well-backed by a fantastic fanbase, and we’re looking forward to it me and the players.

“It is massive for us with where we are at this stage because when we come back we’ll have nine games to go and then there’s obviously a lot of points to play for.”

The Lilywhites will be boosted this weekend by the return of Brad Potts, who has been absent since early February through injury.

North End will, however, be without Ben Whiteman, who limped off against Stoke City in the previous outing.

The gaffer confirmed: “Whitey’s a no-go for the foreseeable, for the next few weeks definitely. He’s got a big swollen ankle, which is black and blue. He rolled it in a different way.

“We’re not going to say he’s ruled out for this or that time. We’re just going to monitor him as the weeks go by. You never know with ankles. They could come back quicker than thought as long as the structure in his ankle’s fine, which we’re aware it is.

“We’ll just take it week by week. We’ve got the international break so it gives him enough time after that and then we’ll take it from there to see where he’s at.”

In Plymouth, PNE are facing a side in need of points to take them further away from the drop zone, which they’re just three points above heading into the latest round of fixtures.

Ian Foster’s side are one of the highest scorers in the division, although their 61 goals conceded has hurt their position in the league.

Ryan said: “They’ve got some good players. They’ve had players in and out, a couple of suspensions and whatnot, but they’ve got some firepower in there with [Ryan] Hardie and [Morgan] Whittaker which we know.

“They’ve scored plenty of goals, but it’s not just them two you need to worry about. It’s right the way through the squad. They’ve not been getting as many wins and points as they’d have liked, but Fozzy’s gone in there and put his own stamp on what he wants to do.

“We’ll respect Plymouth Argyle for what they are, but we’ve got to worry about what we do. It was a disappointing result and performance from us last weekend, and we’ve got to put that right away at Plymouth.

“They’re going to be dangerous on the counter attack but we’ve got to make sure we’re dangerous in both boxes too.”

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